She’s the one that they still want — the millions of Olivia Newton-John fans who were prompted by news of her death to revisit her hits on streaming services.
On-demand audio and video streams for Newton-John’s music amounted to 11,267,494 for the week ending Aug. 11, Luminate Data tells Variety. How big an uptick was that? It marked a 614% increase from the prior week, which ended Aug. 4.
That’s particularly impressive given that the performer’s death was announced well into the chart week, on Aug. 8, meaning the figures really represent just four days of heightened activity atop the norm. In the previous week, Newton-John had had 1,577,978 on-demand streams. That, itself, was still a considerable amount for someone who last commanded the U.S. charts in the early 1980s.
Her airplay saw a bigger percentage increase, rising 1481% from one week to the next. Her audience airplay figure in the week ending Aug. 4 was a modest 382,500. But for the week that began three days before her death, airplay audience rose to 6,048,300.
The sales increase was the biggest percentage jump of all, although sales count for little in the streaming era. Album sales increased 2135%, with 5,836 copies for the latest week, versus just 241 the week before.
If you’re wondering how the “Grease” soundtrack fared, its total streams were up “just” 231% — the lesser leap than for Newton-John’s catalog in general reflecting the fact that, well, a lot of people are just streaming “Grease” at any given time already.
For the week ending Aug. 11, “Grease” songs had 8,418,675 on-demand streams, per Luminate. That was up from 2,540,498 greasy streams the week before.
Album sales increased 1339%, although, again, purchases of full copies represent a very small part of the music pie.
Airplay audience for “Grease” tunes went up 156% for the chart week, from 2,413,900 impressions to 6,172,700 listeners hearing Sandy Olsson croon with and without Danny Zuko.